It’s every athlete’s dream to be in the London Marathon line-up.
However, Caroline Chepkoech never knew her big city marathon dream would turn real so soon.
Last Sunday, she caused a sensation by pacing Mary Keitany to a new women’s marathon record of two hours, 17 minutes and one second at the London Marathon.
Chepkoech, who trains in Iten, Elgeyo-Marakwet County, together with Keitany, was hitting the streets for only the first time doing duty as a pacemaker in Sunday’s race, detailed to push Keitany through to the halfway mark.
“It was my first time to pace in the marathon since I have been running in track events and road races, either the 10 or 12-kilometre races,” she told Nation Sport.
She was in Mumias for the Athletics Kenya weekend meeting series when she received a call that there was no designated pacemaker for the London Marathon as those earlier enlisted had pulled out for various reasons.
“During the Mumias event, I got a call that I was supposed to be at the London Marathon as a pacemaker. I was surprised since I have never participated in half marathon before,” said Chepkoech.
She took up the challenge, processed her travel documents and remained confident as Keitany was someone she knew well.
“Keitany being in the race, I had confidence that I will do a good job by the end of the race,” she said.
True to her words, she ran a good pace that left many in awe.
“During the race, I did not know that I was running a fast pace because, to me, it was like I was doing my normal training, and I was not also aware of who was going to win the race after dropping out at the halfway mark as agreed,” said Chepkoech.
Keitany paid tribute to the pacemaker, saying she was “so good that at one point, she was running so fast that officials in the lead car had to slow her down.”
“The pacemaker was very good because she pushed me to get a world record,” said Keitany.
Chepkoech has now gone back to training in Iten to prepare for the Shanghai Diamond League meeting in China next month where she will be running in the 5,000 metres.
She tried her luck last year in the Olympics Games team in 10,000m but she didn’t qualify which made her train harder for the World Cross Country Championships but she also didn’t get a chance.
“I have tried my luck to be in the Kenyan team but I have not gotten a chance but I know very soon I will represent Kenya in various international races,” said the athlete who is coached by Richard Anderson from USA.
Last year, Chepkoech ran with Keitany in Big Seven 12km race in USA where she came in second after Keitany winning the race.
Born in Kichaba in Narok County, Chepkoech went to Kichaba Primary School before joining Ngariet Secondary School where she graduated in 2015.
She is married to Kenneth Rotich and they both leave in Iten.
Born: May 26, 1994.
21km: 66:53 London pacing (2016)
10km: 31:16 Palo Alto USA (2016)
5km: 15:13 Carlsbad USA (2016)